Cable Railing Tensioning using the Loos PT-01 Tension Meter

Cable railing tensioning

While the cables in your railing shouldn’t be tight to the point where they bend your rails or posts, they absolutely cannot be too loose. Loose, sagging cables have poor atheistic qualities, but more importantly, they’re not up to cable railing code requirements.

International residential codes specify that a four-inch diameter sphere shouldn’t be able to pass between vertical or horizontal cables. This is for safety reasons, preventing small heads and shoulders from being able to squeeze through the space. Loose cables allow children to stretch and widen the space between cables creating a potiental hazard. Even when no children are in the home, maintaining enough tension to prevent cables from moving or stretching is still a requirement to pass a building inspection.

Required tools:

  1. safety glasses
  2. Gloves 
  3. Loos&Co PT-01 Tension Meter
  4. 2 each 10mm open end wrench 2 each



1. Always wear safety glasses and gloves while working with metal. 

Consider wearing a long-sleeved shirt and closed-toe shoes before working with metal.

2. Hold the gauge with the left hand and place the cable between the two nylon spools as shown in image 1.

Image 1

3. With the right hand pull the lanyard and extend the spring until the hook on the nylon slider can be hooked on the cable as shown in image 2.

Image 2


4. Release the lanyard. Read the needle position on the scale. Refer to the calibration table obtain correct tension in the cable. 

Image 3

The gauge can be left on the wire for "hands free" tension adjustment of the cable

Note: Customers are encouraged to call their local city to get information about their local building codes. City building codes supersede national building codes. Inline Design is providing this information in an advisory capacity only and is not liable for any code non-compliance.